I stayed at Gild Hall for one night a couple of months ago on a combined business/leisure trip, and I’m not quite sure what everyone else is seeing that I missed. I simply didn’t think that this hotel was nearly as great as many other reviewers have indicated. I’m young and pretty open to all types of hotel and décor, but nothing here really stood out to me as great. I thought it was just ok overall.
The first thing to note is Gild Hall’s location. I was well aware of the meandering, narrow streets of the area ahead of time, but I was unhappy with the fact that Gild Hall is located on a very depressing sort of side street. The particular street the hotel is on just had an alley-like, overly dirty feel to it that I did not like. It took away from the experience. However, I will admit that I heard no noise from the room and got a very good night’s sleep, so the location may be good in that sense, and if you need to be downtown, it is convenient to many things. It was an easy walk from the office I needed to get to, as well as to many major downtown restaurants and attractions. We enjoyed being able to easily walk to Battery Park, South Street Seaport, and the World Trade Center area.
We drove in and parked at the hotel. I really didn’t find it as hard to find the hotel as others have mentioned. It’s definitely harder to find things downtown versus other areas of Manhattan, but it was no problem with the aid of a GPS. The hotel is at the corner of Gold & Platt Streets, with an address on Gold Street. However, if you’re driving in, note that you’ll want to come in on Platt Street for the hotel’s front entrance and valet. Parking for the night was $65 (my small SUV was a little bit extra because it counted as oversized), which will always be a lot of money just to park, but really isn’t unexpected or outrageous in New York.
We arrived at normal check-in time in the late afternoon, and I was surprised how unprepared the front desk staff was to handle guests at that time. It wasn’t even very busy, but the woman who was working the front desk was totally flustered and not overly professional (but nice enough). I’m not sure if she was new at the time, but it took almost five minutes to get my credit card successfully swiped before someone else had to come show her what to do, and the overall process just felt laborious. She also failed to provide functioning room keys, so after the lengthy check-in process, I only had to come right back down from the room to get new keys when I couldn’t get into my room. She was apologetic, and it wasn’t a huge deal, but my initial impression of the hotel wasn’t the best. This was a bit odd, since the staff I encountered at the front desk the next day was 100% more competent and efficient, handling billing and putting in a late checkout with ease. I guess it’s somewhat hit-or-miss at the front desk.
The overall feel of Gild Hall is a sort of dark, masculine hunting lodge, which I definitely do like in principle. The lobby, while a bit small, definitely carries this out, as do the rooms. The rooms are very dark, with dark carpet and wood throughout. However, I think the rooms go beyond being nicely masculine, bordering on gloomy. The fact that the rooms get basically no natural sunlight due to closely neighboring buildings contributes to the overall gloominess, which I didn’t like. It doesn’t help that the lighting was quite dim. The room wasn’t a bad size, and the king bed was comfortable with a really interesting leather headboard. However, on the whole, it just felt a bit more depressing than I would like.
The bathroom was nicely appointed and seemed recently redone, with nice tile and marble floors. It was an ok size for New York, although there was really no storage space for toiletries. Be aware that the bathrooms lack privacy. One bathroom wall and the door are completely glass. Although it’s not totally see-through, it’s close enough. My girlfriend and I both commented that it was a bit too much for our taste. You’ll be on display to anyone you’re traveling with at all times in the bathroom.
I also felt that our room had an ever-so-slightly dirty feel to it. I couldn’t really put my finger on what made it feel that way, since it was generally clean. I think this feeling came from the old air/heater unit, a bit of dust/grime in the corners of the carpet, and some wear and tear to the baseboards.
Also, don’t expect to get work done at the desk in the room. The desk is very narrow and the desk chair, while visually appealing, isn’t comfortable. The same goes for the sort of bench seating by the window. It looks comfortable and seems like a good idea, but is not very functional.
One thing I found a bit odd about this hotel is that it seems there isn’t any sort of service elevator. I never realized that this makes a difference, but I’ve never been in a hotel where the elevator was so frequently filled employees with maid carts, linens, and maintenance supplies. I have no problem sharing the elevator with employees, and they were all very friendly, but it got to be a bit much, especially in the morning. There were multiple times that I had to wait for a second elevator when trying to leave because the elevators were full of employees going places.
We enjoyed breakfast at the hotel’s restaurant, Felice. The restaurant is small and cheery. Breakfast wasn’t overly expensive, and I was very happy with the quality and presentation of the food. The design-your-own smoothie option was nice. The food was pretty slow to come out, and it seemed that there wasn’t much staff there to get things going. However, the meal was enjoyable and the service was very friendly. It was a good, convenient breakfast option.
Overall, I wouldn’t say that we had a bad stay at Gild Hall, but it was a bit disappointing to me, given my expectations after reading TripAdvisor reviews. I expected much more for close to $500 per night. I found the location and rooms to be dark and depressing. The room was nice, but simply too dark and dingy for my liking. It simply didn’t feel as upscale as it should for the price. I wouldn’t come back unless I had a good reason to do so, since there are tons of hotels in New York City and I’m sure I could find others more to my liking in the downtown area.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Aspen meets Wall Street at Gild Hall, Thompson Hotels' Lower Manhattan luxury lifestyle design property. Located on Gold Street in the heart of the financial district with nearby landmarks such as the 9/11 memorial, Freedom Tower, Brooklyn Bridge and Statue of Liberty, Gild Hall brings a new level of design savvy and service to Manhattan's most historic neighborhood. Designed by Jim Walrod, the unpretentious yet luxurious hotel offers 126 rooms and suites including meeting space for up to 15 people. Our rooms feature oversize leather-tufted headboards and elegant custom-designed furniture, topped with rich flannel throws and mahogany details, some adorned by dramatic chandeliers. Felice Ristorante & Wine Bar offers authentic Tuscan fare complete with one of the best Italian proprietary wines - bottled from Fattoria Sardi Giustiniani, the owner's vineyard in Lucca. Effortlessly blending classical European sensibility with American contemporary style, Gild Hall serves as a modern-day gentleman's club for the kings and queens of Wall Street. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Gild Hall New York City
- Gild Hall Hotel